Pet Education
  • Last updated:
  • 20 May 2020

Changes due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

With the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and the community in mind, Sunshine Coast Council advises pet education programs are suspended until 30 June.

Council is closely monitoring the situation and will update any changes made to council's service delivery as a result of COVID-19.


Animals play an important role in the family. There is a responsibility for managing a happy and healthy family pet.  Sunshine Coast Council offers free school and community programs to help the community to responsibly manage the family pet to be happy and healthy.

Pet care tips for isolation

Pet ownership has a positive effect on our mental health and during this challenging time it is more important than ever.

Tips and tricks

  • Maintain a healthy diet - be sure not to drop extra tasty treats to an always eager dog or cat.
  • Practice your baking skills to keep dogs satisfied with delicious doggy treats - healthy treat recipes are available online.
  • Keep your dog entertained by hiding healthy pet food treats in your garden - this game changer will entice even the most restful of dogs.
  • Use interactive toys that dispense treats - dry kibble is great or bake your own healthy pet snacks.
  • Keep your cat entertained by hiding some treats at different levels in your home.
  • Playing is a great way to exercise your dog and cat while at home and burn off pent up energy.
  • Remember the leash, tag and poo bag when taking your dog for a walk. For more information see keeping and exercising dogs.
  • Maintain your routine as much as possible - keep to the same feeding times and if you can't go for a walk, do a daily play session instead.
  • Be sure there are no bones laying around for children to pick up - this can make dogs very cranky if they think their most favourite snack has been taken away from them.

Pet behaviour tips

  • Introduce family training sessions to care and teach your pet some basic commands and fun tricks will not only build a closer bond, but can help ease your pets’ anxiety level.
  • Use a baby gate to separate yourself from your furry pet where they can still see you, but not disturb you.
  • Excessive barking behaviour may occur due to increased foot traffic near your home. For information on how to address barking see barking and roaming dogs.
  • Access online resources from local pet care experts for further behavioural advice.

Pet education programs

Pet education for kids

Each year in Australia, hundreds of children receive dog bite injuries and require medical attention. Children under five are most at risk. With pet ownership on the rise, council has designed interactive programs for children to promote responsible pet ownership and bite prevention.  

Children can enjoy learning key messages with our mascots Sunny the dog and Sasha the cat through the council hosted programs.

  • Pet Education for kids program (PE4K) - free and fun program designed for children aged 3 to 5 years.
  • School program for children 5 - 12 years - free, fun and educational program aligned to the Australian curriculum.

For more information contact council's Education Officer via animals@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.

Park the Bark seminars

Are you interested in learning how to manage your dogs barking behaviour.

Experienced vet Dr Cam Day, provides an entertaining presentation about why dogs bark and barking behaviour solutions.

Upcoming seminars will be updated on What's On.

Community education events

'Pop up' information stalls delivering messages on animal management occur throughout the year. These include at charity dog walks, local community events and Neighbourhood Watch initiatives. See What's On.

Do you have an event coming up? Would you like council to attend? Contact council via animals@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.